Dog owners fined $9000 over month-long neglect: 'Tragic'

Neighbours told the RSPCA they dropped food and water over the fence to try and help one-year-old Bindi.

A couple who left their dog for a month without access to water have been fined $9000.

Images show Bindi, a one-year-old staffy, cowering in the corner of her suburban Bindoon yard, north of Perth. They were taken by RSPCA Western Australia officers who seized her in December.

After not seeing the couple for three weeks, neighbours began dropping food and water to Bindi over the fence. The female owner later admitted she left the dog with a bucket of biscuits and water, and didn’t organise anyone to care for her. They were away between November 9 and December 11, 2022.

Bindi the dog cowering in the corner of a suburban Perth backyard.
Bindi the dog was photographed cowering in her backyard by inspectors. Source: RSPCA WA

RSPCA accused couple of showing disregard for dog's life

The RSPCA’s Kylie Green described the couple’s actions as “neglect–plain and simple”, accusing them of showing disregard for Bindi’s life.

"The outcome could easily have turned tragic for Bindi. She could have died of thirst, become sick or injured, and her owners would have been none the wiser," she said following a conviction in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday.

What was the couple's full sentence?

A 25-year-old woman and 26-year-old man pled guilty and the court sentenced them under the animal welfare act for not providing access to water.

Two images of Bindi the Staffy
Bindi was forfeited to the RSPCA. Source: Supplied

Along with being fined $9000, the couple were ordered to pay $699.60 in court and care costs and have been banned from having contact with pets for two years. They also forfeited Bindi to the RSPCA.

Ms Green said the outcome should "send a clear message" to pet owners. "If you are away for long periods, you must arrange adequate and suitable care for them,” she said.

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